我們沒有開火

對於我這種音感不好的人來說,「好聽」的歌,就是節奏感強,副歌朗朗上口的那種。Billy Joel 的 We didn’t start the fire 就是一條好聽的歌。

但這歌還有一層更深的意義。1989年,Billy Joel 四十歲時,他被一個二十出頭的年輕人嚇到,年輕人告訴他,「你在五零年代,是個小孩,大家都知道,五零年代什麼事都沒有」,而年輕人則對他長大的年代,充滿了動盪而沮喪。什麼? 平靜的五零年代?「你沒聽過韓戰? 蘇伊士運河危機?」

有感而發的Billy Joel,就把1949到1989的報紙頭條,摘下來放在一起,寫成這歌。看看文後的歌詞,每一個頭條,都是震動世界的大事,考考自己,看你知道多少歷史上的世界大事。

的確,世界一直充滿了動盪,我們只不過很容易把我們的身邊遭遇,擴大成全人類歷史最重要的事而已。1996,我大學即將畢業,七月入伍,但三月時,中國強烈反應李登輝的訪美和兩國論,在台灣頭和台灣尾的外海,各射了個飛彈。「一九九五年閏八月」的陰影不遠,而我卻正要去當兵。彼時,學校附近還發生了幾個聳人聽聞的車禍,一時之間,世界末日的感覺籠罩在頭上。但所有的「跡象」,到頭來,也只是人世間的無常事件之一,而歷史還是繼續地走著它的軌跡。

Billy Joel的歌,停在1989年,最後紀錄的,正巧是天安門事件前的 China’s under martial law。轉眼三十年過去,Will China be under martial law again?

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray

South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television

North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom

Brando, "The King and I" and "The Catcher in the Rye"

Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new queen

Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

No we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev

Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron

Dien Bien Phu falls, "Rock Around the Clock"

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team

Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev

Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

No we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac

Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai"

Lebanon, Charlse de Gaulle, California baseball

Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide

Buddy Holly, "Ben Hur", space monkey, Mafia

Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy

Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

No we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land"

Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania

Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex

JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

No we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again

Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock

Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline

Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide

Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz

Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law

Rock and roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

But when we are gone

Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

No we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

No we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it